Prevention, Prevention, Prevention!

February 1st, 2010

Getting What We Deserve
By Alfred Sommer
Johns Hopkins University
152 pgs, Oct 2009

“Saving lives millions at a time” is the slogan the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University adopted during Dr. Al Sommer’s years as Dean there. Now, his new thought-provoking book, Getting What We Deserve: Health and Medical Care in America, says we can also save billions of dollars if we simply shifted focus from the treatment of chronic diseases to preventive medicine.

With both humor and bite, Sommer offers a persuasive appeal for universal, preventative healthcare, noting that we spend double the money per person compared to other developed countries, yet we’re behind eleven other countries in survival rates for prostate and breast cancer and rank 32 in instances of infant mortality.

Sommer was the dean at Bloomberg when the Meatless Monday initiative was founded in 2003 to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke. He is now a member of its advisory board.